Archive for the ‘Tips and tricks’ Category

Bakes on Mesh – a basic primer – Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Monday, August 26th, 2019 saw the formal release of Bakes on Mesh (BoM) for Second Life, and with it, an attempt to make system wearables (skins, tattoo and clothing layers) usable on modern mesh a…

Source: Bakes on Mesh – a basic primer – Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World


Inara has an excellent read for everyone who, as we are, will be experimenting with Bakes on Mesh.  I’m believing, from what we’ve tried so far, that it will be very similar to what we had before the rise of mesh heads and bodies, but with new channels added for some items.  This definitely brings back the ability to layer makeup … and makes me wish I’d hung on to some of my old tattoo packages, as well as old system clothes.

I can say that the old vendors of tattoo-level makeup will be getting fresh infusions of lindens into their accounts, as people start digging into the older depths of Avatar Components on the Marketplace.  Classic skin sellers, such as my old, reliable PXL, will get a fresh lease on their older products as well.

Check with your body and head providers, and see if they support BoM yet, either native or as a relay.  There’s much to learn here about glitches (such as “sparkle toes”), but I think it will pay in the end.

Posted October 5, 2019 by Harper Ganesvoort in Reblog, Tips and tricks

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Prim Shaping (Historical Second Life)

We were in a bull session on the Maitreya group in world, and we got talking about working in prims, for some reason. Now, most of the older types may think prims are dead as a dodo now, what with mesh … and the younger types may have never known what I’m talking about. (That’s you, Jemmy, Diana and Morgan!) But the primitive is still the foundation stone of Second Life — really, there’s one someplace deep in the heart of Jeogeot (grin). Our clothes and houses and furniture may all be mesh now, but we can still build with prims, for those too lazy or scared to learn Blender or figure out how to do materials graphics.

One of the Residents in the chat shared a link to a 2009 article by Ayumi Cassini on prim twisting. Check it out, and see what’s possible for anyone in Second Life. Don’t let the ancient skills of our foremothers and forefathers die!

Posted August 19, 2019 by Harper Ganesvoort in Tips and tricks

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Note to Self — Rezz Problems

This is as much a note to myself, so I don’t forget what to do again, lol.  But, as you can see here, I had a bit of a rezz problem earlier.  I’ve had this before myself, and it’s purely a client problem, nothing to do with Second Life.  A helpful visitor said she saw my torso just fine.


This can be fixed by clearing the physical cache on your hard drive.  Go (in Firestorm) to Preferences / Network and Files / Directories.  On the Cache Location line, click Clear Cache, and restart the client.  That should solve problems quite nicely.

Hope this helps someone!

Posted April 19, 2018 by Jem Sternhall in Tips and tricks

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Tutorial: Creating a Crowd — Using Layers and Selections in Second Life Photos

If you use image editing software for your Second Life photographic work, such as GIMP, Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop, you’ve probably encountered references like “masks” and “selections” in the documentation at some point.  However, have you ever used them before?  I’ll admit, I’ve been slow in learning all the capabilities of my image software, when I could probably produce more luxurious photos without spending a fortune on luxurious costumes.  But, for a project I’m working on now, I had an idea for a photo that I needed help on.  I wanted to produce a scene with more than two people in it.  I wanted a man in the shot — but I didn’t want Conan for this particular photo, as I was going to “meet” him when I got off the ferry boat.  What do I do?

It was time to throw out contacts, and also to try new techniques.  Jem Sternhall was willing to help, of course; but I don’t know that many men in SL.  The solution:  use Jemmy twice!

And here’s how you do it, for newbies and those who haven’t tried something like this yet:

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Photo Tips from Berry Singh

Here are some photo tips from Strawberry Singh, which I discovered today on New World Notes — thanks, Ham!  Even old hands can learn new things, and I discovered some goodies about WindLight and Firestorm I didn’t know about.

Be prepared for maybe a minute of dead air at the beginning as Berry is getting things set up; don’t touch your dial, as she’ll come in soon.  Additionally, be prepared for a photobombing visitor in the background close to the end — a rather “EEEwwww”-worthy Hallowe’en clown (grin).

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New Hover Height Setting

Here’s a tip for you:  if you’re using the newer clients, such as the latest version of Firestorm, don’t be surprised if some people tell you that you’re walking through the ground occasionally.  The thing is that, if you’re correcting your hover with the new “on-the-fly” hover height setting in right-click context menu, it will be visible only in the new viewers, similar to mesh only being visible in viewers built to accept mesh.  If this bothers you, you can still modify the actual hover number on the shape itself (assuming you have a modifiable shape).  However, as the new-viewer titer grows, this will change.

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Tutorial — How to Make a Wallpaper

Looking for something fresh on your computer desktop?  Have you thought of all those hundreds of Second Life photos you’ve been accumulating since you first learned how to use the snapshot camera?  If you have a graphics editor, and your photos are large enough to work with, there should be no great problem, and the process is very easy to do.  Here’s a tutorial for relative newcomers to photo editing, and can be used for RL photos as well as Second Life.

Wallpaper tutorial 1

1.  I’ve used GIMP in the past because it’s free, but I much prefer Paint Shop Pro; this was the program I started out with long ago, so I’m most comfortable with its controls and function names.  Any photo editor that can do resize/resample and crop is fine; the key is that you have a large enough photo to work with in the first place.  It must be equal to, or exceed, the screen size of your monitor in both dimensions for you to create a non-fuzzy wallpaper.  I routinely shoot my work at 4000 pixels width, so this is almost never a problem.  So the first thing to do, of course, is to choose which one you want to edit, and load up your photo into your editor.  Then copy the entire image, paste it into the editor as a new image, and close the original.  You’ll make all your changes on the copy, and have the original to fall back on if you make a goof.

Wallpaper tutorial 2

2.  My screen is 1920 x 1080 pixels, or approximately 16:9 ratio.  I choose Resize in Paint Shop Pro (your editor may call it Resample; they’re the same effect, though resampling usually gives better quality).  Your first focus is on the smaller of the two dimensions.  I almost always shoot a custom screen size with the Snapshot tool in whichever SL client I’m using, which works out (by keeping the dimensions constrained in the Snapshot function in the client) to 4000 pixels wide by 2119 pixels high.  The height is the smaller — it usually will be — and this is what I will alter with the Resize.  In the Pixel Dimensions section of the toolbox, I change 2119 to 1080, my actual screen height, and click OK.

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3.  Now that I have the height established, I need to crop the photo down to the correct width.  If I don’t, and leave it as it is, the image will spill off the right side of the screen.  If I try to avoid that by using settings like Fit in Windows 8 in the wallpaper area, the picture will scrunch and look…strange.  If it’s too short, the Stretch function will also make the end product look peculiar.  So I must do a final crop to get the correct width of 1920 across.  After deciding what I can lop off, I click on the Crop tool (it will usually look like the tool icon in the left sidebar on this photo), and stretch the grid that produces to cover the entire photo up and down.  (Remember, we want that full height as well!)  In photographing in world, I usually try to emphasize one side or another for this purpose during the shoot, as well as to follow the Rule of Thirds that many photographers, SL and RL, say improves composition of a photo tremendously.  As an example of the Rule, see the next photo, from my last Hair Fair article:

Wallpaper tutorial 5

Here, I’ve already resized the photo of me, which I shot with myself at an offset from the center of the photo as well — to specifically help the editing side along for this purpose.  I’ve selected the grid subfunction of the Crop tool, because it breaks the crop panel up for me into thirds, with guide lines to aid me in the positioning of the composition so that I’m on one or the other of the “third” splits of the photo.  (For wallpaper of modeling photos, I normally place myself on the right, since all of my desktop icons snap to the left of the screen.)  I adjust the size to the width of 1920, then move it with the mouse so that my body is splitting the grid line as evenly as possible; this puts me square on the mark, and draws first attention of the viewer — the “eye” of the viewer — to me.  I approve the position, after checking the dimensions in the upper toolbars, by clicking the check mark on the small toolbar you see on the photo, or by double clicking inside the grid, and the areas outside the grid are cut off, leaving me with the finished size.

The same would be done with the landscape photo above.  A good crop site, if you have enough width to choose from, would perhaps place the upper left crosshair over the mansion door, or as close to it as possible, emphasizing the entrance and its stairway and drawing the viewer’s eye more rapidly to that location.  For followers of the Rule, the crosshair intersections are “power points,” and greatly desired.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to use the Rule of Thirds; you can have everything centered if you wish, or not worry about anything but size.  There is some debate over whether the Rule is truly valid, and it can be as much a personal call as anything — what looks good to you?  I, myself, use the Rule in wide shots, especially when I’m modeling and want to show the entire outfit I’m wearing.  But I’ll ignore the Rule when I feel it’s justified; and, if I’m cropping in for a closeup, then I’m obviously going to be central to the photo.  It all depends on the moment and the need, and experience will tell you what works best for your situation.

In any case, you’ve cropped your shot to the proper size now.  You did check your dimensions before accepting the crop, right?  You didn’t???  Hopefully you worked on a copy, and haven’t saved over the original!  Backup with control-Z if you can, or shut the bad copy and make a new copy, and start again.

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4.  All that’s left is to sign your work, if you choose, and save it.  Then you can share it with other Residents via the usual platforms, such as Facebook, SLSN, Plurk, Twitter, or, especially, Flickr.

There are plenty of wallpaper groups on Flickr, but only one I’ve found specifically for Second Life, and it’s rather inactive.  Time to join and fatten that collection up, eh?  I submit my own wallpaper to it, but I also add them to the group 16:9 Widescreen Creativity, and nobody has given me the Dickens about adding virtual-world photographs and fashion shots yet.  If you do add to such a group, make sure it’s appropriate to the subject, or general, and that it’s meant for the size of wallpaper you’ll be submitting.  Throwing 1920 wallpaper on a 1024×768 group doesn’t work, and contributes to screen envy and flamage.  It’s also polite (and helps drive hits) to add a tag to your photo with the size.  Remember to put it inside double quotes, so that Flickr doesn’t split it up!  And, of course, if you do share your wallpaper this way, make sure that it’s set for sharing, so that people can download it!  Locking a wallpaper with an “All Rights Reserved” copyright (a) defeats the purpose, and (b) can be circumvented with a little knowledge of how to use the browser, or with other tools.  (That’s how I’ve added some winners’ photos to the Oscar Fashion Photo Contest winner articles over the years.)  Far better to be generous, and put it up under Creative Commons.

Hopefully you’ll share some of your work with other Residents, and with the world!

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Omni-Blogging: MSO, Hair Fair, Collabor88 & a Tinting Tutorial | Its Only Fashion

Cajsa Lillliehook, one of my old friends here in Second Life, gives a good look at goodies from this cycle of Collabor88, and throws in a quick tutorial on tinting for newbies (or oldbies who need a refresher).  Rush over and read!

Omni-Blogging: MSO, Hair Fair, Collabor88 & a Tinting Tutorial | Its Only Fashion.


Free Water Normal Maps by Trompe Loeil :

In case you haven’t seen a link to this article yet, or actually been to the original, rush off to Berry Singh’s article on a new goodie from Cory Edo.  Cory has released, through Trompe Loeil on the Marketplace, a set of normal maps for use in world in the WindLight editing tab of your client.  Please do read all of this carefully, and make sure to see Berry’s video on how to use the maps.  You can’t make a “water prim” this way, but you can give your in-world water a look that you desire for photography purposes or machinima!

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Inventoil Made Easier

Harper Beresford uses this interesting trick in Firestorm client to do some bulk inventory control. You can check to see if it works in other viewers, but the odds are it works only in Firestorm. I haven’t tried this myself, as I’m satisfied with Bright or other similar boxes; your mileage may vary.

A Passion for Virtual Fashion

Inventoil Made easy

“There’s never enough of the stuff you can’t get enough of.” ~ Patrick H.T. Doyle

Inventoil Made easy

A few years ago I introduced the word “inventoil” to the world, which was my word for going through my inventory and sorting things. At the time my inventory was almost manageable. I knew what I had and where it might be. That ended a couple years ago when boxes exploded with fatpacks of fatpacks, and I started joining events to blog. And oh, well, I shop a lot too. Pfff.

StarlightShining clued me into a fancy trick in Firestorm that is going to revolutionize your inventory, especially if you have a hoarding problem as I do. And I’m going to teach you how to do it. The bottom line is that you are going to be able to pack massive amounts of stuff into a package without manually moving it. It’s kind…

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